Waze has long been my go-to app for navigating around the busy streets of LA. While the self proclaimed “social maps and traffic” app has served me well in providing real time traffic reports (thanks to the huge, active community of Wazers), one area the app was always lacking was in its other social aspects. In Waze 3.8 — now available on Google Play — the Google-owned company is adding some much needed social features that should help make your life simpler. We like simple.
Waze 3.8 now makes it easier than ever to find friends and family from within the app, thanks to the app’s new ability to scan your phone’s contacts for people you know. But why add friends in the first place? Well, being someone’s friend can provide you with real-time updates when you’re both traveling to the same destination. This could eliminate the need for calls and texts asking the other party how long they’ll be before they arrive. When you’re friends on Waze, you’ll already know.
Wazers will also notice the addition of a new option in the menu called “Send Location.” As you no doubt already guessed, this new option will allow you to send your location, destination, home, work to as many friends as you’d like, then — using the improved drive sharing feature — allows you to keep track of everyone’s ETA on the map. Once again, helping to eliminate much of the guess work normally associated with commuting.
For those concerned with privacy, friends on Waze can only see each other when they’re driving nearby one another, or when heading to the same destination. This is a little different than the location sharing offered by Google+ or Facebook. Here’s a quick bullet list of the features we talked about for those looking for something a little less wordy:
New features in Waze 3.8
- New user profile for easy account management.
- Send & receive friend requests and manage your friends list.
- Share a drive, message, call or beep beep a friend from one screen.
- Locations sent between friends are saved for future navigation.
- Share drive icon added to ETA tab.
- Main menu redesigned to include Send Location.
- Multiple fixes, optimization and more!
- Waze comes pre-installed
- Waze 3.9 update introduces Places for editing businesses
- Google Maps could soon be regulated
- Google Maps and Waze begin sharing features